Art Hop June  7, 2013

Doet's AmelandDoet Boersma is a Friesian artist who was in Michigan as an artist in residence at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings from April through the first week of July. Doet is a good friend of mine –we met while we were both in Ireland at the Burren College of Art. I was there with study abroad students and she was there as an artist in residence. Below is her artist statement for her exhibition at my studio/gallery –Ninth Wave Studio:

White Space 1:2 inch

White Space 1:2 inch

Artist Statement

I am currently working as an Artist in Residence at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for 3 months. I live in a cabin located in their nature preserve and paint the beautiful wetlands, woodlands and prairies I live among and see everyday. Besides creating artwork I work with the institute’s visiting groups, helping them with field sketching and plein air painting.  I also work with the institute, itself, to assist in the development of artistic objectives.

During my first few weeks living in the preserve I walked the trails every day. The staff researchers took me to their plots, told me about trees, birds, soil, preservation and their specific research interests. I learned a lot about different aspects of nature. I asked myself ­–how was I going to communicate what I have learned through my artwork?

I started out by making small dry point engravings of birds and plants. My artwork really started flowing when I began to do paintings of the prairies. On my trail walks I was attracted to certain trees. I spent time getting to know the species better and I saw them developing characters. I hope it’s possible to see my joy in getting to know them.

Below are photographs of the artwork exhibited during Doet Boersma’s show at the Ninth Wave Studio on the June 2013 Art Hop.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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Out of the Wasteland

From my experiences I see that many of us in western civilization are living in a wasteland of sorts. What do I mean by “wasteland”?  The author Nigel Pennick tells us that through our human history and ancestry we have had a collective cultural relationship with the landscape. He explains that we are not separate from the landscape – we are part of it. Reality is what we walk, see, touch, and experience. Pennick states that the “wasteland” comes when the living landscape is rejected or ignored and when humans, in favor of material wealth, abandon the spiritual aspect of nature.

The northern and western European folk tradition is particularly rich in tales regarding this spiritual aspect of nature or the “spirit of the land”. I have traveled throughout 15 countries that share this folk tradition and have, many times, experienced this atmosphere or presence in the landscape that seems to exist beyond the everyday realm of my modern human cognizance.
In this “Out of the Wasteland” artwork I am striving to visually communicate this spirit or soul of a place that I have witnessed along with the human collective relationship with the landscape. I attempt to not only reproduce what I see through my eyes but also create a visual representation of what I experience. The artwork visually displays a personal sense of spiritual connection and an invisible and inaudible communication. It is created to honor all the living things that exist in every aspect of the landscape. Often I portray this life in human form in order to relay the precious and beautiful qualities of all life. On the whole, the imagery in the artwork is meant to represent a sense of life with no limitations of space and time, a sharing of spirit, mind and heart, a spiritual recognition and belonging, a joining in an ancient and eternal way.